-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
Richard Mourdock, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from Indiana, made the following statement during a debate: “but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” Mourdock later explained that he doesn’t believe that God “pre-ordains” rape.
Mourdock’s view of God attempts to deal with the conflicting concepts of the goodness of pregnancy and the evil of rape. His view is incoherent.
The conflicting concepts of evil and an omnipotent God have been noted by Epicurus (circa 300 BC):
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
Mourdock believes the pregnancy is preordained even if the rape was not the intention of God. How does Mourdock account for the rape and still maintain a belief in God’s omnipotence? Today, a Sophisticated Theologian™ would claim that the rape was an expression of the rapist’s free will. While that argument may let God off the hook as far as the preordination of rape, it raises other problems.
The vicim, by her own free will, may decide to take an emergency contraceptive preventing fertilization or implantation. If the rape was not preordained by God due to the free will of the rapist, then the pregnancy could not have been preordained due to free will of the victim.
The Republican Party’s solution to that problem is to remove all forms of contraception so that women have no other choice but to carry to term. When there are no choices, there is no free will.
While many view the passing of genes to their offspring as a gift, it also fulfills a biological imperative to perpetuate their existence. If a rape victim exercises her free will and decides to reward her rapist by passing along his genes to the next generation, that is her choice. However, the state has no business rewarding the rapist with the gift of a child.